5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About El Chapo

On February 22, 2014, the world’s most-wanted drug kingpin “El Chapo” was captured and arrested in Mexico, after outrunning law enforcement for more than a decade. Here are 5 surprising facts you didn't know about El Chapo.


His Nickname of “El Chapo” Was a Physical Description El Chapo, whose real name was Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, was nicknamed a Spanish version of the word “shorty.”  It was used to describe his short stature, standing at only 5’6″ tall. This physical attribute became an advantage when he escaped prison, crawling into a small hole under his cell’s shower.

El Chapo Was the Houdini of Drug Kingpins Guzman managed to escape from prison twice. The first time was in Jalisco, Mexico, when he escaped from the Puente Grande prison with 78 people cited as conspirators. He was recaptured in 2014 but escaped again in 2015, this time through a tunnel dug under his cell’s shower room.


Actor Sean Penn Interviewed Him While on the run, Guzman met Hollywood actor Sean Penn. Penn interviewed the Mexican kingpin and it was published in Rolling Stone magazine. Guzman was quoted as saying, “I supply more heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana than anybody else in the world.”

He Was On The Forbes Billionaires List In 2009, Guzman made it to the Forbes Billionaires list. He ranked 701 with an estimated wealth of $1 billion. In Mexico, he was listed as the 10th richest man in the country. As the leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel, Guzman has moved illegal drugs in the US more than any other drug lord. He is reported to have brought 500,000 tons of cocaine in the United States.

He Was a Drug Dealer With His Own Shipping Line Guzman’s shipping empire helped guarantee total freedom to conduct his drug smuggling. His business in transporting drugs meant that he didn’t have to deal with outside parties. A report released recently said that he had a large fleet of Boeing 747 jets and submarines to move his illegal drugs into the United States from Mexico.